Hi, my name is Kim and I am the aunt of Brandi Claxton and the grand auntie of baby Travis who was born 14 weeks premature on September 21, 2020. Brandi and Preston were surprised to learn that she was pregnant with their sixth child just over a year after the loss of her younger brother Travis. When Brandi found out she was pregnant with a baby boy, she knew right away that she wanted to honor her brother who passed away in December 2018, from suicide , by naming her son after his uncle who she loved dearly. The loss of her younger brother had devastated her, but she found hope and strength in nurturing and protecting a growing baby who would eventually carry his name.
Brandi began noticing some changes during her pregnancy and found herself in the emergency room more than once. The weekend prior to September 21, Brandi began having complications that led her to be admitted to MCG in Augusta Georgia. While there, medical staff attempted to delay delivery with medications and bedrest. God had other plans though. Brandi’s placenta detached from her uterine wall and she and baby Travis were at great risk. Brandi was rushed into the OR for an emergency cesarean. She lost a lot of blood in the process and had to receive four units through transfusion. Baby Travis was rushed to the NICU where he was assessed, placed up to a ventilator, had a chest tube inserted to remove fluid from his collapsed lung, received a feeding tube and placed in an incubator. Brandi has been released from the hospital and is currently staying at the Ronald McDonald house nearby. Baby Travis will remain hospitalized for quite some time due to his low birth weight and need for development since he was born so early. He weighed 2.6 pounds at birth and was 14.5 inches long. He is currently stable and from what I hear he is quite a fighter. I have labeled him “tiny but mighty”. Apparently the nurses can hear him from across the room which is good news to this auntie.
Baby Travis has some more growing and developing to do while staying in the hospital. He may have some developmental issues that present themselves as he develops, but we pray that he will be healthy and well. His parents want to be close to him at all times as well as making sure that they spend time with their other children during the process. At this time the five children in the home are staying in two different homes and are receiving lots of love and attention. Preston also has three older children, who live with their mothers, who are also looking forward to meeting the tiny new addition to the family.
While this should be a joyous time of celebration, it is instead a stressful situation that also puts an economic strain on the family. The baby has insurance that will hopefully cover all of his medical expenses. We are not sure if there will be any uncovered expenses for Brandi, but we believe they will be covered as well. While baby Travis is getting stronger and growing during his hospital stay, the parents will need to travel back-and-forth from the hospital to see their other children and to take care of necessary business at home. Preston, who has been out of work, will be returning soon and will need to travel to and from the hospital to support Brandi and baby Travis as frequently as he can. There is also costs associated with meals not only for Brandi and Preston, but they will also need to provide financial assistance for food and activities to the families who are caring for their other children. Brandi and Preston were not expecting their baby to arrive this soon so have nothing prepared for their tiny little man including clothing, car seat, diapers, wipes and all the things babies need for their growing and developing little bodies. There may be special need items as well that we haven’t even thought of yet.
I started this fundraiser in hopes that family, friends, and anyone who is moved by baby Travis‘s story would help his family through a difficult time. When you have such a tiny little bundle, who comes way too early and needs so much time to develop so he can come home to his big brother (who is super excited about having another boy in the home), and his big sisters (who will undoubtedly be the best helpers to mommy and daddy when caring for a baby Travis), you need a whole community to help you.
During these difficult times in the middle of a pandemic, we also know that not everyone will have a lot to spare. It doesn’t take much, any amount is appreciated and will be used in the most responsible way possible. I once heard this saying, “Every Mickle make a Muckle” and it is true. Even if all you have are prayers or a good recipe to feed a small army, it will be appreciated.
Thank you everyone for your prayers, positive thoughts, and outreach to my niece Brandi, Preston and their family. Thank you Bud and Shelly for opening up your home to our big girls. Thank you Brooke for opening up your home to the Littles. Knowing that their children are taken care of is very comforting to them both. I will try to post updates as often as possible so you can follow the progress of baby Travis and this little family.
If you would like to send cards and words of encouragement to the family, here is the address:
617 Ferncrest Drive
Sandersville GA 31082
- Michael Williams
- Anne Marie Johnson
- Hailey Hodges
- Teresa Pitt
- Daniel McCoy